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An Ultimate Ungulate Fact Sheet
Bubalus quarlesi
Mountain anoa
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Common name:
Scientific name:
Other names:
Mountain anoa
Bubalus quarlesi
Anoa de montagne, Anoa de Quarle, Berganoa, Anoa de montaña

Physical Characteristics

Head and body length: 122-153 cm
Shoulder height: No more than 75 cm
Tail length: Up to 27 cm
Adult weight: Less than 150 kg

Mountain anoa have a dark brown or black coat which is very woolly. Males are usually darker in color than females. There are very few markings on the body: on each leg, there are two faint light spots just above the hooves, and there are usually no markings on the face or throat. The tail is relatively short. Both males and females have horns: these are relatively short, straight, and angled towards the rear. The horns will grow between 15 and 20 cm long.

Similar species
  • The lowland anoa (Bubalus depressicornis) is very similar in appearance to the mountain anoa and inhabits a similar range - indeed, it is now thought that all anoas might be the same species. Key differences of the mountain anoa include a thick woolly coat in adults, faint (or absent) white markings, and round horns (not triangular in cross-section).

Reproduction and Development

Gestation period: 276-315 days.
Litter size: 1.
Sexual maturity: At 2-3 years.
Life span: 20-25 years.

Baby mountain anoa are born with a very wooly coat that is usually a golden brown color. It gradually grows darker as the anoa grows up.

Ecology and Behavior

Mountain anoa tend to be most active during the morning, retreating to sheltered areas during the midday hours. They may seek shelter under large fallen trees, under overhanging rocks, and in spaces beneath tree roots. Mud wallows and pools are used for bathing. The short horns are used in both displays (thrashing at bushes or digging up soil) and in physical altercations: a bump using the front surfaces of the horns is used to show dominance, while in fights sharp upward stabs are used in an attempt to wound the opponent's belly or sides. When excited, mountain anoa vocalize with a short "moo".

Family group: Solitary or in pairs.
Diet: Leaves and grasses.
Main Predators: The anoa has no natural predators, although it is currently highly threatened by humans.

Habitat and Distribution

Mountain anoa are found only on the islands of Sulawesi and Butung in Indonesia. They are rainforest animals, and prefer areas with dense vegetation, permanent sources of water, and low human disturbance. The approximate range is depicted in the map below.

Range Map
(After Semiadi et al., 2008; post-1990 localities redrawn from Burton, Hedges, and Mustari, 2005; 1969 localities from Groves, 1969)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List: Endangered (2008)
CITES Listing: Appendix I (2009)
Threats: Hunting for meat, loss of habitat due to farming and mining.

It is unknown exactly how many mountain anoa remain in the wild, due to the challenges of seeing anoa in dense forest and distinguishing this species from the similar lowland anoa. It is estimated that there are fewer than 2,500 adult mountain anoas in the wild.

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